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The Best Hard Ciders and Hard Root Beers

Beer-585It’s not that I don’t love beer. I do. I especially love Guinness, pretty much any oatmeal stout, IPAs and even a can of crappy yard beer on a hot summer day. But beer does not love me back. More specifically, the grain and gluten in beer tends to cause me some, er, digestive distress.
This used to really suck, as gluten-free beers aren’t really my jam and you don’t really wanna be the person ordering wine at a craft beer bar. And while, yes, I am still frequently that person, my local craft beer bar (Bier Station in Kansas City is the best, y’all!) has some gluten- and beer-free options that are darn amazing. I’m no expert, but here are the five best hard ciders and hard root beers that I’ve tried. Even if you love beer, you’ve gotta check them out.

5 Best Hard Ciders and Hard Root Beers

1. Julian Hard Cider Cherry Bomb. Hands down, this is my favorite hard cider I’ve ever tried. A little sweet and a lot tart, it’s the perfect blend of apple and Montmorency tart cherry juice — which just might make it a freakin’ health food!
2. Crispin Browns Lane. I like most hard ciders like I like my wine (and come to think of it, my humor): dry with some complexity. Turns out, Crispin Browns Lane fits the bill perfectly. Imported from the UK, it’s a classic English-style cider that has just the right amount of sweet, sour and a little bit of farmhouse funk (yes, that’s a good thing).
3. Small Town Brewery Not Your Father’s Root Beer. The name kind of says it all. This hard root beer can be found in all over the eastern side of the U.S. and is smooth and dangerously delicious. So easy to have more than one … or two … or three.
4. Mission Brewery Hard Root Beer. If you’re on a mission (har har) to find the best hard root beer, this is a good place to start. With lots of spice and vanilla, it’s extra tasty over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
5. Row Hard Root Beer. This is a Kansas City brew that is super fun. Offered in cans, everyone here is going crazy over it and with good reason. (And they make an alcoholic ginger beer, which I totally need to try … )
What do you think the best hard ciders and hard root beers are? What should I add to my list? —Jenn

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